Novation KS-Synthesizer – a true insider tip

Although already more than 10 years on the market, and thus well beyond its electronic teens, the KS-synthesizer family is still good for a lot of surprises. Novation KS4, KS5, KSrack ans the little K-Station are high-class sound- and performance-tools. Released in 2003, they were ment to be a good alternative to the Clavia NordLead and Access Virus. But in fact the concepts of these instruments are quite different. To be specific, the Novation KS-synthesizer is a comprehensive performance tool, containing a 4-part synth engine, an arpeggiator and drum sounds! The character of the synth sounds is typical for the late 90s and early years of the new millenium: Techno!

Novation-KS4-front

That certainly is not negative. Nice pads, pulsing arpeggios, useful drum-sounds, strong lead-sounds, etc. – everything at your fingertips! The keyboard’s panel is well layed out, although the are a few (tiny little) quirks … for instance the envelope compartment, which is a little bizarre, as one envelope has knobs and the other faders … quite unusual! Still, all in all, using the KS-synthesizers is a joy.

Taking the risc of being redundand, we’d like to describe working on the KS-synthesizers as FUN! The instruments are easy to use, yield quick and dependable results and some very good music besides. Definitely a tip for insiders!

Novation-KS4-back

3 oscilllators, tons of waveforms, multi-mode filter, many sync possibilities, 16-voice polyphony, 4-part multi mode, internal effects, arpeggiator … there are lots of creative possibilities there.

Aside from high quality factory presets and a myriad of musical features, the KS-family is especially recommendable as well-crafted instruments. Even the fact that the casing is silver has its advantages: often KS-synthesizers look smart, neat and clean even today.

Novation-KS4-sideview

On the market, KS-synthesizers are priced as follows:

  • Novation KS4: approx. 250 – 350 Euros
  • Novation KS5: approx. 300 – 400 Euros
  • Novation KSrack: approx. 400 Euros

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Novation-KS4-envelopes

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Links / further KS-info:

We have also attached 20 minutes of audio material, all created with the KS4. Enjoy!

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“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.